Review and in silico characterization of sugar alcohols as season heat storage materials

H. Zhang, S.V. Nedea, C. Rindt

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperAcademic


Sugar alcohols, as a new category of organic phase change materials, are studied and reviewed for seasonal heat storage applications. These materials have moderate melting points and high melting enthalpies. Additionally, as byproducts of the food industry, sugar alcohols are environmentally friendly and economically competitive. In this work, we have reviewed extensive literature results, including phase change properties, nucleation and crystallization kinetics, meta-stability, and potential enhancement techniques. To supplement and validate the experimental results, an in silico characterization based on first principles is carried out. The phase change properties are calculated using molecular dynamics simulations. We find out that xylitol and erythritol are more advantageous in terms of storage capacity while Dglucitol is more cost effective. However for each material, a unique working condition need to be established to ensure good cycling stability and optimal discharge power.


Conference13th International Conference on Energy Storage (Greenstock 2015), May 19-21, 2015, Beijing, China
Abbreviated titleGreenstock 2015
Internet address


  • Seasonal heat storage
  • Molecular modeling
  • Sugar alcohols
  • Phase change materials
  • Thermophysical properties


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